Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Washington state's branch of the abortion-rights organization NARAL is planning to host a "Screw Abstinence Party" in Seattle Thursday night, featuring a comedic sex ed class for adults, and a seminar on "Sexy Safer Sex" — presented by staff from a local sex toys shop. And the reason for this? The organization's Web site says, "Tired of Bush & Co. spending your tax dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage initiatives that promote dangerous misinformation? ... Come laugh, learn, socialize and buck the system."
Tickets are $15, but those who pay $30 get the so-called "Full Monty": a screwdriver drink from the bar, and a "Screw Abstinence" T-Shirt.
Ted Takes to the Floor
Despite a Senate rule saying, "No senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, ... impute to another Senator ... any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator," Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy has taken to the floor to accuse Pennsylvania Republican Rick Santorum of "show[ing] a deep and callous insensitivity ... in an apparent attempt to score political points with some of the most extreme members of the fringe right wing of his party."
What caused this? Well, Santorum, on Wednesday, refused to back down from comments he made three years ago, in which he said, "It is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm" of the Catholic church's sexual abuse scandal.
Kennedy calls that "outrageous ... inexcusable ... [and] unfounded," and insists Santorum should apologize. Santorum is still not backing down.
More Killed by War Than by Saddam?
Nationally syndicated left-wing columnist Molly Ivins — who has said President Bush lacks a "first-rate mind" and is "very limited ... [by] ignorance" — said recently that more Iraqi civilians have been killed by the war in Iraq than by Saddam Hussein's regime. She estimated that at least 20,000 civilians have been killed by the war. Of course, Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis — and even Ivins now recognizes that, saying she was "pathetically wrong" and should have checked before making the assertion.
An editorial page editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press is complaining about the "slanted reporting" he sees coming out of Iraq, insisting, "I know the reporting's bad because I know people in Iraq." Associate editor Mark Yost says, "A Marine colonel buddy just finished a stint overseeing the power grid. When's the last time you read a story about the progress being made on the power grid? ... or the school that just opened, or the Iraqi policeman who died doing something heroic? No, to judge by the dispatches, all the Iraqis do is stand outside markets and government buildings waiting to be blown up."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report